At the Canadian F-Class Championships last week Shiraz Balolia won the F-Open Individual Championship, and Shiraz was a member of the winning Team USA America Match Team, and the winning USA 4-man F-Open team. If you want to see how a world-class F-Open pilot works his magic, check out this video. After a discussion of scoring, the shooting starts at the five-minute mark in the video. Under the guidance of wind coach Gary Rasmussen, Grizzly Industrial President Shiraz Balolia shoots 100-7X for ten shots, following Gary’s wind calls.
NOTE: Shiraz shot with wind coaches in the team matches at the Connaught Range in Canada. However, during the individual championship matches he had to make his own wind calls, dialing windage corrections or holding off as he saw fit. It wasn’t easy. Shiraz told us: “It’s been a while since I had 5 1/2 minutes of left wind on my .300 WSM and was holding left 3+, then holding right 3 1/2 just two shots later!”
Pair Firing in Canada: Shiraz explained: “One thing that was different about the Canadian Nationals was that they were pair fired. One shoots, other scores, other shoots and so on. The thing about this method of shooting is that every shot is a different condition. Unlike the USA nationals where a guy can rattle off the whole string in less than 4 to 5 minutes in one or two conditions, you would be hard pressed to get off two or three shots each in 5 minutes. This is the way the next World Championship is going to be shot — with pair firing.
Watch Gary Call the Wind and Shiraz Shoot 100-7X for Ten Shots
For best viewing, click the YouTube settings button to watch in 720p or 1080p HD (high definition).
Team Shooting with a Coach
Shiraz tells us: “We come across a lot of shooters who have never shot under a coach. This video was produced to give shooters a basic understanding of shooting with a coach and the importance of releasing a good shot. In a team setting, you basically leave all the decision-making to the coach and aim where you’re told to aim. I’ve worked with Gary many times and it shows in the comfort level we have with each other. The coach plots the shots or a plotter advises the coach of any grouping that is not centered.”
At the Canadian Championships, Shiraz used a .300 WSM. In this demo video, Shiraz was shooting a 7mm F-Open rig: “My .284 Shehane rifle takes about 10 to 12 shots to settle down and that is probably why we made several scope adjustments while shooting. It is a great caliber and a step up from a straight .284 Winchester. The wind was relatively calm, but sometimes that slow wind with subtle angle changes can be very deceiving.”
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Is your mirage band really “the best it can be”? Or is it actually allowing warm air to flow in front of your scope, causing mirage? Here’s an interesting graphic that suggests that the size, shape, and curvature of a mirage shield can make a difference. We can’t say this diagram is based on exhaustive scientific testing (and we think the flow patterns are exaggerated for effect), but it does illustrate how airflow can be altered by shield shape.
This graphic comes from Fierce Vinyl a company that produces high-quality aluminum mirage shields for shooters. Fierce Vinyl is run by the daughter of ace gunsmith (and Hall of Fame shooter) Thomas ‘Speedy’ Gonzalez. Fierce Vinyl sells custom 26″ aluminum mirage shields (with graphic imprint) for $21.99 + shipping. That price includes printing the graphic on the shield, if you provide the artwork. Inquire about custom art designs or large orders.
Along with Mirage Bands, Fierce Vinyl produces a variety of graphic products, labels, and stickers. If you need a placard, graphic, or bumper sticker for your business or shooting range, Fierce Vinyl can help you out. See more product designs on the Fierce Vinyl Facebook Page.
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The Canadian National Fullbore Rifle Championships (CFRC) are underway this week at the Connaught Range near Ottawa, Ontario. Following on the Canadian F-Class Championships held last week, this event is for “Target Rifles”, shot with slings. So far, a British Lady, Jane Messer, is leading the pack, but two Americans, Kent Reeve and Bryan Litz, are close behind.
Bryan Litz provides this report from Canada: “Had a great time shooting today! I won the Letson sub-Aggregate and moved up to Third Place in the overall. We (Team USA Hardin) also tied for winning the coaches two-man team match with USA Praslick at 900 meters. Here’s how the leader board stacks up: Jane Messer from the UK is still leading at 1 down, Kent Reeve moved into second at 2 down, and I’m in third with 3 down. There will be two more days of individual matches and then a lot of team matches leading up to the America Match on Sunday.”
Team USA Hardin: John Whidden (L), Coach Steve Hardin, and Bryan Litz (R).
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There’s a chap in Poland named Łukasz Pietruszka, who is a bonafied “Wizard of Wood”. Lukasz handcrafts unique custom stocks, selling them through his LP Gunstocks company. Many of his most eye-catching stocks are for airguns (particularly Field Target rifles), but he also produces fine stocks for rimfire and centerfire hunting rifles. Lukasz is a master carver who includes exquisite details on many of his stocks. Some of these designs, crafted from exotic hardwoods, raise stock-crafting to an art form.
Check out the figure on this Turkish Walnut stock by Łukasz Pietruszka.
You can see a variety of Lukasz’s stocks in a video sampler. If you’re a fan of fine wood, you’ll love this video. So pull up a chair, grab your favorite beverage, and enjoy this 16-minute video interlude.
Watch Video in High Definition
NOTE: We recommend you view this video in high definition, in wide screen format. To do this, start the video, then click on the gear-shaped icon at the lower right-hand corner of the video frame (it’s located just to the right of the clock icon). If you have a fast internet connection, select 720P or 1020P from the pop-up menu. (1020P is the highest resolution.) Now select theater mode or full-screen mode using the small icons on the lower right of the frame.
Radical ‘Shockwave’ from LP Gunstocks
Here is a truly amazing bit of craftmanship. The images below show a one-of-a-kind Shockwave stock created by Łukasz for a Steyr Field Target air rifle. Over the top? Perhaps… but you have to admire the imaginative design and exquisite worksmanship.
Video find by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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Anschütz now has its own importation hub in the USA. This new facility, located in Trussville, Alabama, will operate as a direct extension of the parent company, J.G. ANSCHÜTZ GmbH & Co.KG of Germany. Having its own importation facility will help Anschütz supply rifles to the American market more efficiently. Steven Boelter, President of Anschütz North American (NA) operations, tells us that that the new Alabama facility will allow Anschütz to import a wider range of products and carry a larger standing inventory. That’s good for rimfire and air rifle customers.
The new importation/distribution center will soon be supported by an in-house Anschütz service center that will handle warranty repairs and custom upgrades. This will offer Anschütz after-sales service for all company products, as well as warranty support, repairs, spare parts, and tech info. (This new service center will operate as an adjunct to other existing target and air rifle service centers within the USA.) Learn more about the soon-to-be launched service center at www.anschutznorthamerica.com.
Anschütz NA does not sell directly to consumers, but if you are interested in a particular Anschütz product, you can contact the Anschütz’s staff in Alambama. They will answer your questions or connect you with a current Anschütz dealer. The established Anschütz distribution chain and main dealer network in the US will continue to operate as before.
In response to a Bulletin article about Protective Eyewear, one of our Canadian readers posted a personal story. His account demonstrates the importance of wearing eye protection whenever you shoot — no matter what type of firearm you are using — even air rifles. We hope all our readers take this to heart. All too often at rifle matches we see shooters, even some top competitors, risking their vision by failing to wear eye protection.
Eye Protection — Lesson Learned by Nicholas from Canada
As a boy on a mixed farm on the plains the first shooting stick I owned was a Red Ryder BB gun. My Dad bought it for me as I showed a keen interest in the shooting and hunting sports. I was about 9 years old at the time.
We had literally thousands of sparrows in our large farm yard and they liked to roost on the steel railings in the barn loft. I took to slowly thinning out their ranks by flashlight at night as these little winged pests settled in the farm buildings.
One evening as I slayed sparrow after sparrow in the barn loft — with about a dozen farm cats following me to consume these easy meals, I fired at another bird centered in my flashlight beam.
However, my aim was a bit low — and the copper pellet hit the steel beam square on. Instantly I felt a sharp pain as the BB bounced back and hit me squarely between the eyes on the bridge of my nose – drawing blood from the partial penetration into the skin. A half inch either way and I’d have lost an eye!
Never, never, never shoot at any target with a steel background with any firearm, even a BB gun – is the hard lesson I learned, and wear the best shooting glasses that money can buy!
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT!!
Editor’s Comment: Among competitive pistol shooters, the use of safety eyewear is universal. You’ll never see Rob Leatham, Julie Golob, or Jerry Miculek competing without eye protection — for good reason. The handgun sports’ governing bodies effectively enforce mandatory eye protection policies. We wish the same could be said for competitive rifle shooting. We often see benchrest, High Power, and F-Class competitors shooting without eye protection. We’ve heard all the excuses, yet none of them trump the safety considerations involved.
We recommend that all shooters and hunters employ eye protection whenever they use firearms or are at a location where live fire is taking place. You only have two eyes. A tiny bullet fragment or ricochet is all it takes to cause permanent blindness in one or both eyes. As rifle shooters, we place our eyes a couple inches away from a combustion chamber operating at pressures up to 70,000 psi. I know quite a few guys who will religiously put on safety glasses when running a lathe or a drill press, yet the same guys won’t use eye protection when shooting their rifles — simply because it is “inconvenient”. That’s nuts. It doesn’t matter is you are a cub scout or a multi-time National Champion — you should wear eye protection.
Be wise — protect your eyes. To learn more about eyewear safety standards, and to learn about the latest options in ANSI Z87-certified protective eyewear, read our article on Eye Protection for Shooters.
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Watch this video guys. You’ve got to see this Automated Target Trailer to believe it. The clever folks at MGM Targets have created the world’s first transportable, programmable, compressor-powered Electro-Pneumatic Pop-Up Steel Target Trailer. And get this — it even reads credit cards and bills them wirelessly! We kid you not. Check it out:
Ten Automated Targets on Trailer
This is one impressive piece of target technology. MGM Target’s P2P Automated Range is the only trailerable, “Pay to Play” live-fire target system on the planet. It offers 10 separate plate targets each with its own electro-pneumatic lifter, so the plates can rise and lower in a infinite series of variations. MGM’s “Reaction Mode®” option runs as fast as the shooter can knock the targets down! The lifters are driven by an 45 PSI compressor (that’s also part of the trailerable package.)
Much like operation systems used at a DIY carwash, a stand-alone control pedestal houses the credit card reader, and the game selection keyboard. The shooter swipes his/her credit card, then chooses one of 10 pre-programmed game option / shooting scenarios. Shooters have several options including various timed games, Random Plates, and “Dueling Tree” for man-on-man competition.
Designed to be a cash generator for public and private commercial ranges, the system combines the proven technology and durability of MGM’s electronic ‘Pop Up’ trailer with a credit card reader/integrated cell phone system. This technology is presently in use at private ranges and military bases.
If you own your own range, this could be the ultimate toy… and you can get your shooting buddies to pay for it with their credit cards. (Default “pay to play” rate is $5 for 10 minutes.) Commercial inquiries are invited — contact MGM at 888-767-7371 for information.
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Have you considered becoming an NRA Life Member, but couldn’t swing the substantial $1000.00 cost? Well, right now you can get an NRA Life Membership for half price.
Now through August 20, 2014 the NRAstore is offering life memberships for just $495.00. Think about that — for the next three days (through August 20th) you can save $505.00 on an NRA Life Membership, making this more affordable than ever.
Remember, the clock is ticking! This $495.00 NRA LIfe Membership Offer is only good through Wednesday, August 20th, so don’t hesitate if you are interested — you snooze, you loose.
Big Savings on 1-Year, 3-Year, or 5-Year Memberships Too
If you are not ready to become an NRA Life Member, you can also get a significant discount on 1-Year, 3-Year, or 5-Year NRA memberships. You can save $10 on a one-year membership, save $15 on a three-year membership, or save $35.00 on a five-year membership. NOTE: This offer runs through 8/20/2014. CLICK HERE for 1-Year, 3-Year, and 5-Year Membership Sale.
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On September 13-20, 2014, the NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championship will held at the Whittington Center in Raton, NM. Top Black Powder Cartridge Rifle (BPCR) shooters from around the country will visit Raton to test their skills during a week-long event with targets set from 200 to 1000 yards. The event kicks off with Mid-Range matches at 200 to 600 yards. On the firing line you’ll see many handsome, custom-built BPCRs (Sharps, Ballards, Browning High Walls, Rolling Blocks) with exquisite wood, hand-checkering, and color-case-hardened receivers.
The 800-1000 yard Creedmoor matches will be held Friday and Saturday, September 19-20. Interestingly, for safety reasons, there are minimum bullet weight and muzzle velocity requirements for the Creedmoor matches. These BPCR shooters launch some seriously heavy projectiles downrange:
Minimum Bullet Weight (Grains)
Minimum Bullet Velocity (FPS)
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Production wood rifle stocks, both laminates and hardwoods, are commonly made with stock duplicating machines. Stock duplicators allow a stock-maker to copy a master design faithfully and efficiently. The video below, from Colorado rifle-maker Michael Cuypers, shows a stock duplicator (in automatic mode) cutting a piece of Turkish Walnut, for a mauser 98. This machine rotates the blank while a spinning vertical cutting head shapes and trims the blank. This duplicator manually tracks the shape/profile of the master blank. To make another stock, this process needs to be repeated, with the master in place. For more information about this duplicating machine, visit www.riflebuilders.com.
Watch Stock Duplicator in Progress
Future Technology: We are starting to see stocks made with CNC milling machines that cut stock profiles based on three-dimensional scans of master stock designs. However, the traditional mechanical duplicator process in the video is still most commonly used by most of today’s stock-makers.
Turkish Walnut — Where to Get a Beautiful Blank
The Bijou Creek video above shows a Turkish Walnut stock being roughed out. Turkish Walnut is some of the most beautifully figured wood available — but it can be pricy. If you are looking for this kind of ultra-high-grade wood, it makes sense to shop carefully. You’ll find a wide selection of Turkish Walnut blanks at the HunterBid.com website. Hundreds of selections are available at auction. Prices start as low as $150.00. The finest blanks sell for $1,000 or more. New blank selections are added to the website every other day. HunterBid.com is run by Chiron Inc., which is 100% owned by the Ergin family who are of Turkish origin. Chiron maintains warehouses in Dover, NH and Istanbul, Turkey.
Video find by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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Sturm, Ruger & Co. has created a series of 11 short videos that trace the history of firearms, from matchlocks to modern semi-autos. Ruger’s “History of the Gun” video series provides a fascinating look at firearms technology throughout the years. The host is Garry James, Senior Editor of Guns & Ammo magazine. Featured here is Segment 7 on Rifling. Other installments in the series are linked below.
Here’s breaking news from Ottawa, Canada. Team USA has won the America Match, an F-Class International Team competition . Shown below are the victorious U.S. Team members and coaches. The U.S. team was led by Rick Jenson and coached by the first family of long range shooting, Mid Tompkins, Nancy Tompkins, and Michelle Gallagher.
The 2014 F-Class America Match
Team Size: Captain, Adjutant, Main Coach, 2 Target Coaches, 8 firers, not more than 4 of whom may be Class F-Open, and 2 Reserves (total team strength 15), from a single country or group of countries approved by the DCRA.
Course of Fire: 2 sighting shots (convertible) and 15 on score at 500, 600, 800 and 900 meters.
Targets: DCRA F-Class targets will be used (these are normal DCRA targets, with an additional central V-bull, half the diameter of the normal V).
In other Team events at the Canadian F-Class Championships, the U.S. 4-man F-Open team proved unbeatable. They had a clean sweep of all three four-person team matches during the past week of competition at the Connaught range near Ottawa, Ontario. Congratulations.
Next Sunday, August 24, 2014, the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association (DCRA) will host a similar America Match for Target Rifles (slings and irons).
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